10 Movies Where People Died On Set

When tragedy strikes at the big screen.

The Crow
Dimension Films

The world of film making can be a lot of things: exciting, innovative, expensive - and also dangerous. While actors like Jackie Chan are famous for doing a lot of their own stunt work, most of the time the largest risk that cast and crew are exposed to is under the guidance of the stunt coordinator and performed by professionals.

Sadly, a large proportion of accidents and incidents on film sets and shooting locations end up injuring or killing these stunt personnel, but as we'll see, the rest of the crew are not immune. Lead actors have fallen foul of accidents as well as directors, producers and other members of the filming team.

It should be noted that the amount of control around all aspects of safety has increased hugely as the years have passed, but there doesn't seem to be a way for the risk to be removed entirely as long as the paying audience want to see these sort of scenes.

So, here are ten movie sets where someone tragically lost their life, and the circumstances around the accidents that caused them.

10. Rambo: First Blood Part II

The Crow

The film series that follows John Rambo has seen an almost unprecedented level of violence, death and devastation throughout its many entries. The 1985 sequel. Rambo: First Blood Part II, saw 75 on-screen kills by the leading man - a total that was soon increased to 115 in Rambo III and 254 in Rambo IV.

Portrayed by Sylvester Stallone, Rambo is a Vietnam veteran created by David Morrell in his 1972 novel First Blood. The book was met with the same complaints that the film series would soon echo with gratuitous violence and accusations of revelling in the carnage.

While First Blood Part II may have started the trend of ever-increasing death on screen - Rambo only kills a single man in the original film - it was also the location of an accident that resulted in the death of a special effects worker.

Clifford P Wenger Jr. was 34 years old when he got caught up in one of the planned explosions during filming and ended up losing his life. Some reports state that the explosion went off early while others cite that he fell down a waterfall where he was performing a stunt.

Either way, a tragic loss of life.


Matthew is a Marine Engineer to trade who writes sub-standard Scottish crime fiction in his spare time that can be found here:- https://mmacleodwriting.uk/ Originally brought up in the Western Isles of Scotland, he lived in Edinburgh for 18 years but now stay in Aberdeenshire with his partner, sons and dog.